Politics

Scott Morrison Tried To Weirdly Intimidate Bill Shorten And Shorten Dragged Him For It

This could be a defining moment of the election.

Shorten Morrison debate

Well, who knew Bill Shorten had it in him? The normally robotic Opposition Leader landed a couple of patented Zingers in the second leaders’ debate in Brisbane last night.

The debate, which was produced by Sky News and The Courier Mail, put Shorten and PM Scott Morrison in a room with more than 100 undecided voters, who quizzed the leaders on everything from health and education, to religious freedom and the future of Australia Post.

It was a pretty boring affair, until the last 15 minutes, when Shorten, who seems to get much more comfortable as these things go on, decided he wanted to have some fun with Morrison.

The PM was facing questioning about his signature policy — massive personal income tax cuts, that will largely favour higher earners — and was trying to avoid answering just how much the tax cuts for wealthy Australians would cost.

Sensing a moment, Shorten ducked to the back of the stage and scribbled “$77 billion” on a piece of paper, and held it up to the cameras with a cheeky grin on his face, while the audience giggled along.

Clearly flustered, the PM then walked towards Shorten in what appeared to be an attempt to throw him off. Shorten, who has held hundreds of these ‘town hall’ style events over the last few years, stepped towards ScoMo before declaring him a “space invader” and zipping away.

I cannot stress this enough — it was a piece of genuine comedic gold from a man who’s usually about as charismatic as a photocopier. You can watch the whole moment unfold below:

It was clearly the moment of the debate.

The rest of the debate was fairly standard. The pair argued over the cost of Shorten’s more ambitious climate change policy (Shorten won’t put a price on it, because he says he wants to consult with industry when he gets into government), and Labor’s controversial franking credits policy.

After an hour of debate, the results were split pretty evenly. Of the 109 undecided voters, Bill Shorten won over 43% of the voters, while Morrison scored 41%. The rest remained undecided.

But the “space invader” moment will live on.